MILWAUKEE—Jordan Taylor scored 21 points, including several key free throws at the end of the game, leading the Wisconsin Badgers to a 69-64 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles on Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
Wisconsin was seemingly able to extend possession after possession, in large part, due to their ability to hit the offensive glass. The Badgers grabbed 12 offensive rebounds after half and it led to 16 second-chance points.
"That's frustrating," MU guard/forward Jimmy Butler said of allowing second chance possessions. "I think that was the key to the whole game. We didn't get the rebounds that we were supposed to get."
"Our speed and our athleticism has to help us rebound," MU head coach Buzz Williams said. "Our speed and our athleticism should not be nullified when a shot goes up. We have to take up space and to finish possessions. We can't just turn and look, because we are small, we're going to be small. You've got to take up the space between you and your man when the shot goes up."
Trailing by as many as 11 late in the second half, the Golden Eagles were able to ramp up the pressure defensively and battle back to make it a five point game with 35 seconds remaining. Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one and a Darius Johnson-Odom layup attempt was blocked out of bounds.
Butler subsequently drained a corner three-pointer off of the inbounds pass and MU found themselves down by just 2 points, with 21 seconds left. Taylor was once again faced with pressure-packed free throws and was able to sink both to put the Badgers back up by four.
The Golden Eagles raced down the court and Jae Crowder tipped in a Butler three-point attempt to bring MU back within 2.
Taylor was fouled yet again, and after hitting the first free throw, the second one rimmed off, giving MU hope.
Fate, however, was not on Marquette's side, as senior guard Dwight Buycks turned the ball over in the game's final seconds. Taylor was sent back to the line and hit both shots from the charity stripe to bring the game to its final margin.
Butler scored 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting to lead the Golden Eagles. Dwight Buycks returned from an ankle injury and scored 13 points off the bench.
Jon Leuer scored 17 points and Keaton Nankivil added 12 for the Badgers. UW shot 45.6 percent to for the game and hit 11-of-13 shots from the line.
"I don't think our guys are ever going to quit," Williams added. "I do think that when you're getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound, it is deflating. We've just got to continue to figure out ways to block out, continue to figure out how to give guys just one shot. They shot 45 percent for the game; we shot 48 percent for the game. But if you're scoring a third of your points on offensive rebounds, that's hard to overcome."
GAME NOTES: Darius Johnson-Odom struggled from the field, hitting just 1-of-9 attempts and missed on all three of his efforts from downtown….the announced attendance of 19,074 is the fourth largest in MU history….Jae Crowder has connected on all eight of his initial three-point attempts.
Too little, too late as UW defeats MU 65-61
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